"Then something Tookish woke up inside him, & he wished to go & see the great mountains, & hear the pine-trees & the waterfalls, & explore the caves, & wear a sword instead of a walking-stick." The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Having just finished a grand adventure, that of making an independent feature film, I find myself antsy and dissatisfied.
I should be too exhausted to even think, but instead I find myself googling exotic new places and wondering how long I'd have to save up in order to buy a ticket and go.
I thought something Tookish had woken up inside me, but it doesn't feel right. Doesn't feel quite Tookish.
It's because it's not the desire to adventure, but the desire to escape.
I've lost my contentment.
I'd blame it on growing up as a missionary kid. We lived all over the place and even when we did settle in Hawaii for ten years, we still moved around a lot. Changing apartments and houses every couple of years. But it's not the same, I was never running from something.
And now. I find myself living in a place I've lived for more than five years, in a job I've done for about eight and a half years and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
There's a big part of me that misses the adventure of new places and new friends and an even bigger part of me that's terrified of a future settled in one place.
I can't help but shake my head at myself. I'm a filmmaker. Life is never the same. I never know where we're going to be shooting next, or what story we'll tell.
So why do I feel so discontented?
I got my first clue as I sat down for an interview for another episode in our Making The Out of the Woods Project. Friend and fellow PSI writer, Brenden Bell, asked me what is the hardest part about planting myself somewhere.
I had to laugh when he asked because it's something I feel like I'm still learning and as I stumbled through an answer it finally came to me.
The hardest part is how vulnerable I have to be.
Being vulnerable with the people in our lives is very, well, vulnerable. It's scary. It means they'll see me at my best but they'll also see me at my worst.
And what if they don't like me after seeing my worst?
But after more than ten years of friendship with some of these people I've realised something else very important.
They still love me.
Still call me friend after ten years.
It's not been an easy road, the things I've struggled with, the losses I've experienced and my general drama queen status have not made it easy for them to be around me all the time, but they've still chosen to make an effort.
I remember one time when I was really struggling with self doubt. The director of our company came up to my desk and asked me if I was ready for our meeting. We had no meeting scheduled, but I got up and followed him out of the room.
As soon as we moved out of the office I looked at him questioningly, he smiled and said, "I knew you just needed to get out of the office and talk."
It was a precious moment. He took the time out of our incredibly busy schedule to connect with my vulnerability.
And I've come to an important conclusion.
This is something we need more of in our society.
Both being vulnerable and sticking with people in their vulnerabilities.
Instead of flinging hateful words at each other and abandoning people because they annoy us or we just don't want that in our lives, I think we should challenge ourselves to stick it out. To force ourselves to keep walking with someone.
It won't just help the person we choose to keep walking with, but I believe it will help us to be better people too.
It won't be easy and there will be times when we want to just walk away, but if we hold to the course, we may just find that we change the world for the better and our Facebook feeds will be full of smiling faces of friends verses enemies.
It's a simple idea, but what if it could work?
Written for Christian Today